Chronic whiplash-associated disorders and their treatment using flotation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique)

Qual Health Res. 2008 Apr;18(4):480-8. doi: 10.1177/1049732308315109.


In this study, we investigated for the first time whether flotation-REST might be used for treating chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD). Six women and one man, all diagnosed by licensed physicians as having chronic whiplash-associated disorder, participated. Two of the participants were beginners with regard to flotation-REST (2 or 3 treatments), and five of them had experienced between 7 and 15 treatments. The method for data collection was the semistructured qualitative interview. The empirical phenomenological psychological method devised by Karlsson was used for the analyses. Two qualitative models explaining the participants' experiences of flotation-REST emerged. The models describe the participants' experiences of flotation-REST, as well as the short-term effects of the treatment in terms of five phases: (a) intensification, (b) vitalization, (c) transcendation, (d) defocusation, and (e) reorientation. Results indicated that flotation-REST is a meaningful alternative for treating chronic whiplash-associated disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mind-Body Therapies*
  • Pain Management
  • Sensory Deprivation
  • Whiplash Injuries / therapy*